Saturday, June 29, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 5

2 Kings 5


-This chapter revolves around the foreigner from Aram (north and east of Israel) named Naaman. This great man, who was highly respected and a victorious man by the LORD’s choosing, happened to have leprosy. An Israeli servant girl who had been captured in a raid by the Arameans encouraged Naaman to go to Elisha in Israel for physical curing of his disease. Naaman sought permission from the king of Aram and was sent with abundant provision. Naaman first stop was with the king of Israel, who tore his clothes in disgust and suspicion of his enemy with no concept of the LORD’s possible intervention and miraculous work. Elisha somehow heard about the event and sent for the highly respected Naaman to come to his house to prove that there is a true prophet and real God in Israel. Naaman came with quite an entourage to the house of the prophet expecting some huge and dramatic display of healing. Elisha had simply instructed the leprous man to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. It was Naaman’s servants who finally convinced him to give it a try at the simple word of the LORD through His prophet. Naaman had been furious that such an easy solution was offered for healing and thought some of the more northern rivers of water would have been cleaner and more advantageous for purification (this is still true today as the northern spring rivers come fresh and pure from the mountains and drain into the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan filters out of the Sea of Galilee with much more contaminants). Nonetheless, he ultimately obeyed the easy request of the prophet and was dramatically and miraculously healed of his affliction! Upon Naaman’s return to the man of God, Elisha, he claimed out loud, “Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now.” Elisha refused any gifts and sent him on his way back to Aram. Naaman swore to no longer offer burnt offerings nor sacrifices to other gods, but only to the LORD (a transformation, a conversion had happened, truth wins!). He asked to be pardoned from having to obey his master, the king, when he went into Rimmon (a false god) to worship from the LORD and the prophet gave him peace in this matter.

-The plot thickens a bit when Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, gets greedy and tracks down Naaman on his way back home. He cons the respectful and honored man into giving him two talents of silver and two changes of clothes. Elisha knew of the lie of his servant in his heart and cursed him, as well as his descendents forever, with leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-27).

-*Application* This is a story about seeking the truth and finding it with many morals. Great people are highly respected people, which mean they have somehow earned the right to be considered favored. We see admiration from people in regards to Naaman from all sides. The king of Aram respected him, the servant girl wanted to help him, and the prophet wanted to heal and bless him all for the glory of God. Naaman sought out things and was not too proud to listen even to his servants in finding an answer to the overarching problem. His disease was fatal and contagious. He was desperate and came to the right source for healing and he eventually humbled himself to find a solution. Sometimes the simple commands of God are the most potent. Listen to what He tells you to do and don’t get angry or frustrated when they seem too effortless or irrational. This is a great lesson from this passage. Also, be generous as Naaman was, and not greedy and deceptive like Gehazi was.


Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 5:15

Friday, June 28, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 4

2 Kings 4


-Three miracles of the man with a “double portion” of the Spirit of God, Elisha, are described with detail in this powerful chapter of Scripture. The first miracle involves a widow woman from one of the sons of the prophets and her two children who were about to be taken as slaves due to her debt from having no means. She calls upon the prophet for help with the caveat that her deceased husband “feared the LORD” as a true servant. Elisha’s response must have seemed very strange when he simply instructed her to go borrow more stuff in the way of vessels to hold oil. The LORD multiplied the oil for her and her two children’s provision so that she could go and sell the oil to pay her debt and live on the surplus (2 Kings 4:1-7). *Application* God’s provision comes from unexpected sources at just the right time when we fear Him and walk by faith. This widow sought out the man of God in a desperate state and received blessing for going to the right Source. So should we. When we have need, do we try to fix our situation in our own strength? Or, do we go directly to the Father in Heaven who has limitless supply and power to provide? Do we seek Godly counsel in matters when it is apropos? There are still men and women of God around who can give wise counsel and intercede in situations where there is legitimate need. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. God can provide, even miraculously.

-The second miracle involved the Shunammite woman who had extended kindness and provision to the prophet Elisha as he had passed through her town. She perceived that he was a holy man of God, and thus had her husband build an addition to their home as a walled upper chamber with a bed, a chair, a table, and a lampstand so that he could stay with them every time he passed that way. One day, recognizing the care she had been so considerate to give him, he asked her what he could do for her. Along with his servant, Gehazi, they discerned that she was barren, and Elisha prophesied over her that she would bear a son by that time the next year. She had a hard time believing it, but it came about just as the man of God had said. This miracle is reminiscent of Sarah’s conception of Isaac in Genesis (Genesis 17:15-22; 22:1) and Elizabeth’s conception of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25). It came about when the son had grown up that he was afflicted in the head and died. The Shunammite woman immediately took him and put him on the man of God’s bed in the upper chamber and went directly to Mount Carmel where Elisha was. Two times she exclaimed, “It is well” to her husband and to Elisha’s servant Gehazi as she proceeded undeterred toward the one who she knew could help remedy the situation as the LORD’s servant. Elisha had no revelation of the matter as she came before him (2 Kings 4:27), but he was determined to help her in this desperate situation. He sent his servant to lay his staff on the deceased boy’s face, and then at the Shunammite woman’s insistence and persistence he followed her back to Shunem. The lad had not yet awakened from the staff being placed on him, so Elisha went mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hands to hands lying stretched out and prostrate on the dead boy in an effort to revive him. The child eventually became warm as the LORD brought life and breath back into his body. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes back to life! A miracle had occurred, and the woman who had cared so deeply for the provision of the man of God was rewarded in manifold blessing of renewal and awakening in regard to her son (2 Kings 4:18-37). *Application* Persistence is a virtue recommended by the LORD (Luke 11:8-9; 18:1-8). Also, our good works of grace and provision will always be rewarded in greater degree in reaping benefits far beyond our greatest expectations (Luke 6:38, Galatians 6:9). These are words of life and prosperity. Live by them!

-The third instance in this passage involves more multiplication of supply in time of need. The sons of the prophets found themselves in famine, probably due to the wickedness of the nation at this time in their idolatrous history (Deuteronomy 32:19-24). Poison had gotten into the pot from gathering unknown wild vines and gourds, but Elisha spoke over it and no harm came. Now a man from Baal-shalishah came and brought bread and first fruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha commands the food be given out to eat to the people, and according to the word of the LORD all were fed with left overs (2 Kings 4:38-44). This miracle is reminiscent of the multiplication of the loaves and fish during Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:35-44; 8:1-21, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-14). *Application* God can make streams even in the desert (Isaiah 35:6). He is the God who can turn events and multiply His abundance to every need you have. Have faith and trust in Him for the impossible!


Verses to Memorize: 2 Kings 4:9, 43

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 3

2 Kings 3


-As Jehoram (sometimes called Joram) takes over Israel, as Ahaziah’s brother and Ahab’s son, he still walks in evil in the sight of the LORD, but not to the degree of his father and mother, Jezebel. He at least put away the sacred pillar of Baal, which his father had made (2 Kings 3:1-3). There is trouble in the land because of a rebellion from Mesha, king of Moab, which is south east of Israel to the east of the Dead Sea. Moab’s king was a sheep breeder and had paid tribute to Israel with massive amounts of sheep and rams. When Ahab died, Mesha perceived weakness and saw the opportunity to end this practice with defiance. This made King Jehoram go out from Samaria and muster up all Israel to fight against the Moabites. He gathered together not only Israel, but also Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the king of Edom to join in the conquest of Moab. The three kings partner together, and Jehoshaphat desires to consult a prophet of the LORD before their engagement with the enemy. Elisha, son of Shaphat, is solicited, and he rebukes Jehoram telling him to go to his father and mother’s prophets. However, Jehoram tells him that the LORD has called these three kings together to give them victory in Moab. Elisha replied, “As the LORD of host lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look at you nor see you.” After calling for a minstrel to play, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Elisha, and he prophesied some things beneficially. First, he predicted they would have water (they had taken the wilderness route to the south of the Dead Sea by way of Edom where it is complete desert with no water for the troops or their animals, 2 Kings 3:8-9) as they were instructed to make the valley full of trenches. Second, he predicted that the LORD would give the Moabites into their hand. The instruction was to strike every fortified city and every choice city, fell every good tree, stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones. All of this happened as the LORD provided water from the mountains into the valley by the way of Edom making it look like blood to the Moabites who thought the three nations had turned on one another and made war with each other. As the reckless Moabites went in for the plunder, they were attacked and fled before the allied armies. Israel, Judah, and Edom advanced into the land slaughtering the Moabites, destroying the cities, throwing stones on every piece of good land filling it with ruggedness, stopping all the springs of water, and felling all the good trees. They left the stones in Kir-hareseth (an advantageous city overlooking the Dead Sea on a mountain), but the slingers went about it and struck it. When Mesha saw that the battle was too fierce for his people to handle, he took 700 men and attacked attempting to break through the lines to the king of Edom, but they could not. At this point the king of Moab took his oldest son who was to be the next king and offered him as a burnt offering sacrifice on the wall of the city. This incited the Moabites with great wrath against Israel from a desperate state and probably with demonic force. With this occurring the Israelites departed from King Mesha and returned to their own land (2 Kings 3:4-27).   

-*Application* Israel’s wayward ways lead them into difficult circumstances and wars with their enemies. Judah sometimes came into to help and got the blessing of the LORD as in this circumstance. It is interesting to see the prophet’s response towards Jehoshaphat, who was a man of God and righteousness (1 Kings 22:43). We should be like Jehoshaphat and Elisha and stand before the LORD in humility for His abundant blessing. The other lesson that should be learned here is to withstand the wrath of the enemy in the battle. The last verse of this chapter is perplexing. In the throes of battle with the victory essentially assured, Israel withdrew because their enemy got enraged. This is capitulation to a weaker foe and makes no sense really. The prophet had given them the word of God that they had the power to overcome, yet they retreated at the point of total victory. We can do this sometimes in our own lives. When we experience God’s favor in a battle, yet do not carry it through to its completion, we forfeit what we had gained. Don’t let that happen in your life. Complete the conquest over sin or whatever the LORD has you fighting.


Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 3:14

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 2

2 Kings 2


-The end of Elijah’s earthly ministry and the beginning of Elisha’s prophetic ministry are narrated in chapter 2 of 2 Kings. The two Major Prophets went together from Gilgal (Circle of Stones, A Wheel) to Bethel (House of God) and then on to Jericho, which was near the Jordan River in the east of Israel. At Bethel and Jericho the sons of the prophets of the LORD came and exclaimed, “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” Elisha is emphatic with his response, which is identical both times, “Yes, I know; be still.” The apprentice desires to go with his mentor all the way each time Elijah beckons for him to stay behind in Bethel and Jericho. They both cross the Jordan and Elijah tells Elisha to ask what he shall do for him before he is taken away. Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” Elijah acknowledged this was a hard thing, but he gave him an indication that it would be so if Elisha saw him as he was taken. As they were going along, there appeared a chariot of fire with horses of fire that finally separated the two men. Elijah went up in a whirlwind to Heaven. As Elisha saw it, his request had been fulfilled and he took hold of his clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. He struck the waters with the newly acquired mantle exclaiming, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” The LORD made the waters divide here and there (double portion), and Elisha crossed back over to begin his prophetic ministry (2 Kings 2:1-14). *Application* We see the loyalty of Elisha to his mentor here in this passage. When you have someone you admire and trust in life according to the commands and will of God, stick by them and follow their lead. God gives us those who have gone ahead of us to teach and instruct us in the proper way to go. Loyalty is a great virtue and trait in a person!

-The sons of the prophets who were in Jericho knew that the “spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” and they came and paid homage to him. They desperately wanted to search for Elijah to see if he had been dropped somewhere by the whirlwind, but Elisha knew better. He relented and let them go look, but the search was futile. Elisha gives them the old “I told you so” at that point. Elisha begins to prophecy over the city at this point saying the situation there was pleasant, but the water and land was unfruitful. He asked for a new jar and put salt in it. As they brought it to him he went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.’” The waters were purified according to the prophetic word of Elisha. Then he went toward Bethel, which was an ascent from the low region of Jericho. Along the way 42 lads began to make fun of him and his baldness in mockery. When he saw them and heard their ridicule of God’s prophet, he cursed them in the Name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up the lads. How about that? From this experience he went west to Mt. Carmel, where the LORD’s great victory over the prophets of Baal and Asherah through Elijah had been accomplished (1 Kings 18:19-46). From there he returned to the central part of the country to Samaria as he established his ministry (2 Kings 2:15-25). *Application* God’s Spirit rested upon Elisha now in a very powerful, observable way. We also can have a “double portion” of God’s Holy Spirit when we ask for it and seek Him out. God desires to fill us with as much of Him as possible. How much of God do you want? He desires to abide in you through the New Covenant promise of His Holy Spirit and His indwelling as an awesome presence. This will allow you to do things in His Name that are otherwise humanly and naturally impossible. Miracles still exist! It is only our lack of faith that holds the LORD back. Be like Elisha and activate your faith exponentially!


Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 2:9

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

2 Kings 1


-Elijah comes back on the scene with Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, taking ill after an accident and seeking the counsel from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron (2 Kings 1:1-2). Elijah, guided by God, intercepts the messengers who went to seek counsel from the false god of Ekron by the will of Ahaziah and pronounces the LORD’s wrath and judgment through the death of Ahaziah upon his sick bed (2 Kings 1:3-4). The king questioned his messengers upon their hasty return and realized Elijah had been the prophet who gave the word. A series of miraculous events occur showing the power of God through His prophet as fire consumes those who come to him on more than one occasion. The constant theme is this: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?—Therefore you (Ahaziah) shall no come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die (2 Kings 1:5-16).’” So Ahaziah died according the the accurate word of the LORD, which His prophet Elijah had spoken. Because he had no son, Jehoram (or Joram) became king of Israel in his place during the reign of Jehoram in Judah (2 Kings 17-18).

-*Application* Who do you seek counsel from in your life? It may be easy for us to think to ourselves, “I always trust in God over anything else.” But, is that really accurate? When you are diagnosed with an ailment, do you put more trust in earthly doctors or the Heavenly Father? I’m not saying that doctors are evil and can’t be trusted, nor that we should not go to them. But, I am saying this biblically: You had better seek the counsel of the Lord first and foremost in all decisions or it could turn out really bad. Asa, king of Judah, is another biblical example of this reliance upon man rather than seeking God first (2 Chronicles 16:12). Here is the modern way of doing things if we are really honest. Rather than trusting the LORD and seeking His counsel through prayer initially, we go to a doctor in complete trust whose name we often cannot pronounce, take a pill that we have no idea where it came from, mixed together by who knows in a pharmacy we know nothing about sanctioned by our government. Who do we really put our reliance in? Think about it.


Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 1:16

Monday, June 24, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 22

1 Kings 22


-The last chapter of the book of 1 Kings gives the details of Ahab’s, king of Israel, death in battle, along with some of the successors to both the kings of Israel and Judah after Ahab and Asa. Ahab and Jehoshaphat (who was Asa’s son and ruler of Judah) agreed on trying to take back Ramoth-gilead (in the Transjordan area) from the king of Aram. Jehoshaphat proved devout in seeking a word from the LORD in regards to going into this battle (1 Kings 22:1-5). As four hundred false prophets were gathered together speaking blessing and victory, Jehoshaphat discerned that a true word from a real prophet of the LORD was needed. Micaiah was summoned by the king of Israel, even though he detested this man of God and knew he would prophesy evil against him (1 Kings 22:8, 18). Sure enough, the prophet spoke that all Israel would be scattered on the mountains in chaos without a shepherd or master (in other words, the king would be killed, 1 Kings 22:17). The word concerning the scene in Heaven was given as the LORD sent demonic spirits of enticement through the mouth of all the false prophets for ultimate disaster (1 Kings 22:19-23). Zedekiah (a false prophet) came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek claiming to be the man with the real word of the LORD, but he was wrong (1 Kings 22:24). Micaiah was put in prison, but he maintained his prophesy, which came to fruition (1 Kings 22:25-28).

-The battle went on as planned with Ahab disguising himself and going into the fray knowing that the enemy was gunning for him alone in this encounter. Jehoshaphat had the royal robes on and decoyed the enemy until he cried out and they knew it wasn’t Ahab (1 Kings 22:29-33). Meanwhile, in the battle Ahab was randomly struck in the joint of his armor and began to die from the severe wound. By the evening he had perished and his chariot was saturated with blood, which was later cleaned out in Samaria where the dogs licked up his blood according to the prophetic word of the LORD (1 Kings 22:34-38). Ahaziah, his son, became the new king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat and “did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. So he served Baal and worshipped him and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all his father had done (1 Kings 22:40, 51-53).” On the other hand in Judah, Jehoshaphat was known for walking in the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from doing right in the sight of the LORD, although the high places were not taken away. He made peace with his brother Israel, and he expelled the remnant of the sodomites from the land (1 Kings 22:41-46).

-*Application* Disobedience to the Living God has its consequences. Obedience has its blessings. We see the antagonists in this saga play out in our modern scenarios all the time. How often do people around us shun what they know the LORD has said in His Word and follow their own way right into destruction? Let us be wise and follow the ways of the LORD by His Book for peace, favor, and benefit. God will bless those who fear Him above all else. Meditate on this theme today.


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 22:23

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 21

1 Kings 21


-This chapter is a very interesting and telling account of the life of Ahab, king of Israel. The historical account of the king’s taking of Naboth’s life over a vineyard that he wanted is described in vivid detail. It is Jezebel who takes a leading and deceptive role in securing this property in a totally evil manner (1 Kings 21:1-16). We notice the ruthless nature of this wicked queen in usurping even the authority of her husband to do this act. Ahab goes along with it, and the elders and nobles of Israel also acted cowardly in the face of decision as to whether they should do the right thing and resist the royal command or capitulate and do evil. Ahab is shown as a pouting cry baby in this episode when he can’t get his way. He was not content with what he had and what God had ordained through His laws of inheritance in the land.

-Because of this vile iniquity, recompense was on the way, and the LORD sent His prophet Elijah the Tishbite once again into the king’s presence with a word. Death was proclaimed on him and his royal line along with a debilitating end in dishonoring death for his queen, Jezebel (1 Kings 21:17-24). “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols… (1 Kings 21:25-26a)”

-However, something strange happens as Ahab hears these words from the prophet. In repentance, “he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay about in sackcloth and went about despondently (1 Kings 21:27).” God shows His ultimate compassion toward the humbled king and relents by taking pity on his life. The curse will come at a later time upon his children (1 Kings 21:28-29, 2 Kings 9:25-37).”

-*Application* Contentment becomes a huge theme of consideration for us as we read this passage. God wants us to be happy with what we have and not covet our neighbors possessions (Exodus 20:17). We run into problems when we want more than what God desires for our lives.

“Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked (Psalm 37:16).”

“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure and turmoil with it. Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it (Proverbs 15:16-17).”

“Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice (Proverbs 16:8).”
Also, we should see the mighty compassion of our God even when we fail mightily. Remember that you can always turn to the LORD with a humble and contrite heart and He will not turn you away. If He can forgive Ahab, He can certainly forgive us. Praise the LORD for His everlasting love!!!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 21:25

Friday, June 21, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 20

1 Kings 20


-This chapter reflects back on the conflict between King Ahab of Israel and Ben-hadad king of Aram. Ben-hadad gathered thirty-two kings with him and made some cocky predictions about what he was going to take and do in Samaria. However, the elders and people of Israel were with their king and did not want him to consent nor listen to Ben-hadad’s demands. A prophet from the LORD also came and gave assurance that the Arameans would be delivered into the hands of Israel for the purpose of them (Israel) knowing that their LORD was God (1 Kings 20:13). The prophet urged them to start the battle, so Israel mustered up troops and attacked while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the temporary shelters with the thirty-two kings who helped him. Israel struck them with a great slaughter, but Ben-hadad escaped. The prophet came back with the word that they would come back and attack at the turn of the year and that they should fight them in the plains, for the Arams believed their gods were gods of the mountains and they would be stronger there (1 Kings 20:14-25). At the turn of the year, Ben-hadad did muster up his troops and they came against Israel at Aphek south and west of Samaria. The Arameans filled the country with their warriors, but God delivered His people once again to prove to them and make them know that He was their LORD (1 Kings 20:28). At least 127,000 Arameans were killed in the battle and Ben-hadad had to humbly make a covenant with Ahab (1 Kings 20:29-34).

-At this point a prophet had a situation where he wanted another to strike him, but the man refused. Therefore, because the man did not listen to the voice of the LORD, he was killed by a lion as soon as he departed. The prophet found another man and had him strike him, which this time the other man struck him wounding him. This led to the prophet disguising himself to the king of Israel to pronounce judgment on Ahab because he let go out of his hand Ben-hadad, who the LORD had devoted to destruction. Therefore, the prophecy was given that Ahab’s life would go for his (Ben-hadad) life and the people of Israel for his (Aram’s) people. “So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and vexed, and came to Samaria (1 Kings 20:35-43).

-*Application* God will put us through situations to help us KNOW Him. He will even be patient enough to give evil people blessings to show them Himself if they are aware and concerned enough to pay attention to His goodness. This is what we must understand from this episode with Ahab and Ben-hadad. Thank God for His patience and goodness, but remember that there are limits to it. As we see in the passage, Ahab still refused to obey the LORD and would ultimately suffer greatly for it. Accept the LORD while you have the perfect opportunity. Trust in Him and seek to KNOW Him. This is the point of the chapter for our lives.


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 20:13

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 19

1 Kings 19


-Ahab tells his wife Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets of Baal and Asherah with the sword (1 Kings 20:1). She sends a messenger to Elijah threatening to kill him with an oath bringing destruction on her if she doesn’t accomplish her desires by the power of her gods (1 Kings 20:2). One of the saddest phrases in the Bible appears next, “And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life (1 Kings 20:3).” This stands in direct contrast to his spirit on Mt. Carmel. It reveals his doubt and fear even after God had shown up and displayed His awesome power against His enemies. Elijah was at the point of wanting to die (1 Kings 20:4). God was no doubt still with the prophet, ministering to him by angels and strengthening him for his journey, and even appearing to him down on Horeb, the mountain of God (also known as Mt. Sinai, where Moses had met with the LORD, 1 Kings 20:5-8). *Application* Elijah was on the run after his greatest triumph, which doesn’t make that much sense unless you’ve actually been there. There are times in our lives when we do the will of God in standing for righteousness and against what we know is evil in the world that is in competition to the One-True LORD and His ways. Our expectation in those situations is that evil will be totally vanquished and we will be on easy street with no more worries or problems to impend us. What we see in our lives, just like with what happened with Elijah, is that intense spiritual warfare persists even after great spiritual victories. If we are not careful, our greatest victory can quickly turn into our greatest defeat. We must continue to fight for right and realize that the enemy is unrelenting, and will attempt to destroy us at our most vulnerable times. Elijah was tired and worn out by all the stress and demands of his previous victorious engagement. At a weak point, he chose fear and fled in the face of more threats rather than girding up his strength and fighting it out to the finish with Jezebel. Obviously, this did not please God, but we do see His grace and compassion during this time to revive and replenish His servant.

-God was not done with this man of God. He asked him the question twice on the mountain, “What are you doing here, Elijah (1 Kings 20:9, 13)?” Elijah’s response demonstrated his heart and his pain, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (1 Kings 20:10, 14).” God reassured him that there was a remnant back in Israel who had not bowed to Baal numbering 7,000 (1 Kings 20:18). He also appeared to him with prophetic meaning in a gentle blowing after some remarkable displays of nature (1 Kings 20:11-12). The prophetic point was that it would not be the dramatic displays that would be used to change the culture in Israel (i.e. Mt. Carmel demonstration), but the natural and normal political process (anointing of a new king, Jehu, and succeeding prophet, Elisha). Elijah was shown to hang in there and continue to follow the commands of the LORD for His purposes and plans (1 Kings 20:15-17). As he went from Horeb to find Elisha, he threw his mantle (an article of clothing used for protection) on the young man and experienced some fellowship from a believing brother who was fully committed to the work of the LORD (1 Kings 20:19-21). *Application* Isn’t God good? He comes and comforts us in all our weakness and gives us renewed hope for the journey. He is kind enough to question where we are at and what we are doing, prodding us to get going back in the right direction. Praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness, even when we are fragile.


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 19:10, 14

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 18

1 Kings 18


-Intense action is prevalent in this climatic chapter in the book of 1 Kings. The LORD begins by alerting his prophet Elijah to “go” and show himself to the king of Israel, Ahab, and that rain would be on the way (1 Kings 18:1). “So Elijah went” as the famine was now very severe in Samaria (1 Kings 18:2). God has His people in every place. We see evidence here in this chapter that God had His servant, Obadiah, right where he needed to be. He was over the household of King Ahab, and strategically preserved 100 prophets of the LORD when Jezebel attempted to destroy them (1 Kings 18:3-4). Obadiah was seeking out water for the animals of the kingdom when he ran smack dab into Elijah. Elijah sent him to tell Ahab that he was in the territory, but Obadiah was afraid for his life and did not completely trust the prophet at his word (1 Kings 18:5-14). Elijah confirms his oath and eventually Obadiah complies (1 Kings 18:15-16). As Ahab comes to meet Elijah, the king calls him a “troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:17).” Elijah gives back his rebuke that it was not he who troubled Israel, but it was the corrupt king and his father’s house that have done this by forsaking the commandments of the LORD and following the Baals (1 Kings 18:18).” *Application* There was no backing down in the prophet when faced with personal attack. He stood his ground and proclaimed God’s sincere truth in the situation. How are we doing in this with so many attacks against the Christian worldview and the claims of Scripture for morality and decency? Determine to be as strong as the prophet Elijah in standing up for what you believe.

-Now the showdown comes on Mt. Carmel as Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal and Asherah to see who the true God was. He did not want them to vacillate between two opinions any longer; either God was King or not in Israel (1 Kings 18:21). In the end, a monumental and decisive victory was given by the LORD over the false prophets and they were killed. This was done so that the people would KNOW that the LORD was God and had all power over every other god. The people, although it may have been very brief, acknowledged this (1 Kings 18:19-40). *Application* Much can be said about this altercation between good and evil here on Mt. Carmel. Isn’t it awesome when God shows up in your biggest battles and wins the day? This was a mountain top experience for the true man of God, and the LORD will grant you ultimate victory as you stand for Him against all odds. You can count on that!

-Now the rains would come after Elijah’s word, which came from the LORD. He prayed and waited. He sent his servant to check on things. When the time was right and the storm of rain had approached, he outran Ahab to Jezreel (6 miles away) to one last time confront Ahab with his sin for the purpose of repentance and tell the people of that area the great things God had done in His might with the correct story uninhibited by the corruption and lies of the king (1 Kings 18:41-46). *Application* Elijah was a warrior and a determined protector of the truth of the LORD. We need to be of the same mindset in our current culture as much truth is routinely denied with much spin. Get back to the basics, trust the LORD and obey His commands. They are much clearer than you might think.


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 18:18, 21, 37-39

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 17

1 Kings 17


-In this chapter we meet Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead near the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan River. He is one of the foremost prophets in all of Scripture and has much significance in not only his own era, but in the eschaton (end times) and with Messianic times (Malachi 4:5, Matthew 11:14, Mark 9:4, Luke 1:17). Elijah is the antagonist to the evil king Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He pronounces the word of the LORD concerning a withholding of rain, except by the prophet’s word (1 Kings 17:1). The LORD sends him away to his homeland to get nourishment by the brook Cherith as ravens (a scavenger bird) provides bread and meat for him there during the time of drought and famine (1 Kings 17:2-6).

-After a while, even this brook dried up as a source of nourishment because there was no rain in the land. At this point the LORD sends Elijah up north to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon (this is the area where Jezebel is from) where God had commanded a widow woman to provide for the prophet. In an amazing and miraculous story, the LORD provides for the prophet, the widow, and her only son. God grants sustenance with the multiplying of oil and flour for the duration of the famine and He raises the son back from a near death experience where there was no breath left in him. This leads the widow to proclaim how she now knew that Elijah was “a man of God and that the word of the LORD” was in his mouth as truth (1 Kings 17:7-24).

-*Application* Here we see the miraculous provision of the LORD in desperate times for His people who are abiding in Him by faith. Elijah follows the will and direction of the LORD by His voice. It leads him to unique places and he experiences exceptional things that lead to signs and wonders. We are just as capable of having these amazing things happen in our own lives (James 5:17). Our nature is just like Elijah’s with the capacity for faith and complete dependence on the LORD in times of need. He will give us power in a wicked and perverse generation to do His will and accomplish His purposes. Are you ready to see miracles, signs, and wonders in your own life like Elijah for the glory of the LORD? 


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 17:15-16

Monday, June 17, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 16

1 Kings 16


-Chapter sixteen gives historical accounts from the prophecy against Baasha to the beginning of the evil reign of Ahab, the son of Omri and husband of Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians (a very pagan and evil society to the north of Israel in Phoenicaia). Baasha’s prophecy of destruction over his house comes from Jehu the son of Hanani because of the evil he did in the sight of the LORD walking the ways of Jeroboam and making Israel sin. He provoked the LORD to anger and God would consume his house (1 Kings 16:1-5). This happens shortly (2 years) after Baasha’s son, Elah, becomes king in his place. Zimri, commander of half of Israel’s chariots, conspired against the king and struck him dead in Tirzah while Elah was drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household at Tirzah (1 Kings 16:6-9). Therefore, Zimri becomes king in his place and fulfills the prophecy by killing every male in the household of Baasha, all his relatives and his friends (1 Kings 16:10-14). Zimri’s act created civil unrest. He lasted only seven days as the king of Israel as Omri rose to power from the battlefield of Gibbethon coming to Tirzah where his supporters besieged the city. With all hope gone, Zimri went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned it up with fire with him in it, thus committing suicide (1 Kings 16:15-20). This sent Israel into another civil division where half followed Omri and the other half followed Tibni the son of Ginath. Omri eventually after 5 years prevailed over Tibni and reigned for a total of 12 years. Half of that time he reigned from Tirzah and half of the time he reigned from Samaria, which he bought from Shemer for two talents of silver. He built Samaria on this hill doing evil in the sight of the LORD acting more wickedly than all who were before him by walking in the ways and example of Jeroboam in all his sins which he made Israel sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel with their idols (1 Kings 16:21-27). Omri was noted in the annuals of Assyrian history and was probably more internationally famous than this account in 1 Kings gives him credit. *Application* Fame in the world is not right standing and fame with God and His perfect revelation in the Word (Bible).

-After his death, his son Ahab becomes king and begins a 22 year reign in Samaria that far exceeded any of his ancestors of the Northern Kingdom’s throne in vile evil in the sight of the LORD (1 Kings 16:28-31). He married the pagan Jezebel, who was the most wicked and controlling woman in all of Scripture, and erected an alter for Baal to worship this false god in a temple house he built in Samaria (1 Kings 16:31b-32). He also made the Asherah (a wooden symbol of female deity), which provoked the LORD God of Israel more than all the kings of Israel who were before him (1 Kings 16:33). In the days of Ahab, Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho back up and laid a foundation with the loss of his firstborn, Abiram, and he set up the gates of the city with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD spoken by the prophet Joshua son of Nun (Joshua 6:26, 1 Kings 16:34).

-*Application* Obviously the despicable wickedness of the Northern Kingdom becomes more and more apparent as they defiled anything sacred in the land and kept provoking the LORD to more and more anger with their actions. It was a downward spiral of magnitude proportions of increasing evil and debauchery with a total lack of love or concern for the God who brought them out of Egypt and established them. We too can forget about our gracious and good God when we let the world in and capitulate to its demands for greed, lust, idolatry, and the like. Don’t become consumed with material and expedient gain and forget the LORD who saves you from this present evil age. Though there may be pain in the offering at times as we fight the good fight, victory in the end is assured and the LORD will come through for His faithful ones. Remain steadfast and don’t falter in the battle for righteousness!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 16:30-31

Saturday, June 15, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 15

1 Kings 15


-Chapter 15 gives some of the successions of kings in both Judah and Israel. There was constant conflict between the two groups and a preponderance of evil during this time. In Judah, Abijam, who succeeded Rehoboam, walked in all the sin and corruption of his father and did not regard his ancestor David so as to follow the LORD. He only reigned three years in Jerusalem and was succeeded by Asa, who did right in the eyes of the LORD. Asa’s reign lasted 41 years in Jerusalem and he made several positive reforms for the nation and was successful militarily against his northern brothers with the help of Ben-hadad of Damascus (1 Kings 15:1-22). In the time of his old age, Asa became diseased in his feet (1 Kings 15:23). Much more of his life is found in 2 Chronicles 14-16. He was a good king with a somewhat poor ending, but he did at least follow the LORD (1 Kings 15:14).

-In Israel, we see the end of the royal line of Jeroboam come to fruition according to the prophecy as Nadab, who ruled only two years, was assassinated by Baasha at Gibbethon while laying siege on the Philistines. Baasha and Nadab did evil in the sight of God and walked in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin (1 Kings 15:25-34).

-*Application* Sin brings corruption to any people (Proverbs 14:34). It is too bad that these people in Israel could not heed the wisdom of Solomon as he wrote this proverb. The spiral downward came from the top as we can see in the final commentary of this chapter (1 Kings 15:34). Leadership is very key to success and righteousness in any group of people. Everything flows from the top down and infiltrates the very fabric of any organization or culture. If the head is sick, so will the rest of the body be. With this in mind, we need to be so thankful that the church has as its Head, Jesus Christ, the perfect role model and Savior (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23, Colossians 1:18; 2:10, 19). He is the boss! Follow Him, not sinful man.


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 15:32

Friday, June 14, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 14

1 Kings 14


-This chapter completes the reigns of both Jeroboam in Israel and Rehoboam in Judah. The end is not good for either king as they both allow for idolatry and a departure from the Living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The appeal of power, pleasure, passion for worldly things, and the praise and popularity of men all contributed to their downfall and stirred the LORD to anger. The prophet Ahijah, who was now older and blinded by his old age, once again shows up in the saga of Jeroboam’s son’ illness and the sending of his wife to get a word from the LORD. The word of prophecy is not good as the LORD reveals that He has all knowledge and reveals everything to His prophets despite human deception and intrigue (1 Kings 14:1-6). Ahijah predicts several things of importance. First, Jeroboam’s exultation came from the LORD, but he did not act as David in faithfulness and obedience. Jeroboam did more evil, the prophet related, than all who were before him (this includes Saul and the time of the Judges). He had gone and made other gods and molten images to provoke the LORD to anger by casting God behind his back (in other words, Jeroboam turned away from God). Therefore, his son would die and the kingdom would be cut off from his family. Calamity was prophesied for his royal household and his family would be swept away from power even though Israel (as in the northern kingdom of Israel) would mourn over his son’s death (1 Kings 14:7-14). Second, the LORD will strike Israel “as a reed is shaken in the water” and He will “uproot” Israel from their good land which He gave to their fathers scattering them beyond the Euphrates River (this occurred under the conquering by the Assyrians in 722 BC). God will give up on Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam, which he committed and with which he made Israel sin (1 Kings 14:15-16). These predictions played out according to the word of God with exact accuracy. This became the legacy of a man who did not fear God and turned away from what the LORD had done for him.

-Rehoboam, who reigned in Judah as the son of Solomon and grandson of King David did not fare much better. He allowed Judah to do evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to jealousy more than all that their (Judah’s) fathers had done with their corruption in sin (1 Kings 14:22). They built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim (a wooden female cultic deity) on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree (1 Kings 14:23). He also allowed male cult prostitutes in the land, who did all the abominations of the nations which the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel (1 Kings 14:24). Because of all this wickedness, the LORD allowed success from a foreign invasion. Shishak, the king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem and was apparently paid off so as not to destroy it. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, everything, including Solomon’s golden shields (1 Kings 14:25-26). King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace these shields as the glory of the kingdom of Israel quickly faded during this time (1 Kings 14:27-28). There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually until their deaths at about the same time in history (1 Kings 14:30).

-*Application* What a sad turn of events so quickly after the promise of the kingdom in David’s time and the beginning of Solomon’s rule. Just as we see the decline in the nation of Israel and the break-up of all that was good and promising under their leadership, we can experience the same in our personal lives and our culture. God’s blessing cannot reside on those who turn away from Him and His ways. A downward spiral is inevitable for those who practice wickedness and spurn the truth of the narrow path of righteousness that Christ Jesus lays out for us. Don’t fall away and become an apostate in the eyes of God. This is never His desire for any of us (2 Chronicles 30:8-9, Proverbs 3:7-8, Hosea 14:1-4).


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 14:16, 22

Thursday, June 13, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 13

1 Kings 13


-Jeroboam is now set to consecrate the place of worship in Bethel in the Northern Kingdom, but a man of God comes from Judah and cries out against the false alter with the prophesy of a future king specifically named Josiah who will sacrifice these fake priests of the high places who burn incense in idolatry, and human bones will be burned on it by the prophetic word (1 Kings 13:1-2). This comes true in every detail 300 some odd years later when King Josiah of Judah killed the pagan priests at their own alters (2 Kings 23:1-20).

-In the meantime, an immediate retribution is given by God as the altar is split apart and the ashes which were on it poured out. Jeroboam tried to cry out for someone to seize the man of God, but his hand that he stretched out against the prophet dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself (1 Kings 13:3-5). At this point, the northern king plead with the prophet for forgiveness and restoration from the LORD, which was granted and his hand returned to normal (1 Kings 13:6). The king wanted to refresh and reward the man of God, but the LORD had given him a strict word to not eat bread, drink water, nor return the way by which he came (1 Kings 13:7-9). He intended to keep the word of the LORD, but an old prophet in Bethel sent his sons out to retrieve him with a false word. The man of God from Judah heeded the lie of the old prophet and returned to eat and drink and be refreshed in Bethel. As this happened the old prophet got a valid prophetic word that the man of God had disobeyed the LORD and would die and not return to the grave of his fathers in Judah. This did happen as he went to journey back home on his donkey. A lion attacked the man of God and killed him without eating him. The lion simply stayed beside the prophet on the road as men passed by and saw it. The old prophet learned of this happening and sent his sons to get the body, which he buried in his own grave. He told his sons to bury him beside the man of God when he died, “for the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria (1 Kings 13:10-32).”

-“After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among all the people; any who, he ordained, to be priests of the high places. This event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth (1 Kings 13:33-34).”

-*Application* We can see the importance of complete and utter obedience to the Father through the context of this story from history. Jeroboam disobeyed in his idolatrous rituals which he created to rival the Temple worship of the Living God. We also find that even a prophet, a man of God, can easily be deceived and tricked into disobedience with disastrous consequences. The moral of the story, “God can take swift and decisive action when He desires against defiance.” Jeroboam should have humbled himself and allowed for his people to continue to worship in Jerusalem to the One-True God. His kingdom would have lasted and been successful if he would have done this. The man of God should have stayed true to the actual word he got directly from the LORD and not been fooled by lying lips. When you have a direct word from the LORD from His Word, don’t be conned by others into disobedience by their shrewdness and false ways. God will judge us for our mistakes, so repent as soon as you realize your shortcomings and mistakes. He will forgive and be merciful (Hebrews 4:16).


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 13:33

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 12

1 Kings 12


-Chapter twelve tells of the split between the northern ten tribes of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah and Benjamin, who remained loyal to the throne of David by Rehoboam. The division did not need to occur, but as a turn of events established by the LORD according to the words of the prophet Ahijah, Israel was split by bad advice from the younger generation that served Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:1-15). Instead of listening to sage counsel from the elders to lighten up on the burden of his people, Rehoboam acted in pride and tried to flex his kingly muscles. There was a strong reaction to this arrogance by most of Israel and they went their own way departing from the Davidic rule (1 Kings 12:16). All Israel stoned Rehoboam’s superintendent of forced labor, Adoram, to death and forced the king to flee back to his home in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:18). This rebellion was never truly reconciled and the united kingdom of Israel was finished (1 Kings 12:19). The northern kingdom never had even one good king and fell into abased idolatry and depravity, which ended up causing the Assyrians to capture them and disperse them as a nation in 722 BC. The LORD would not forget His promise to the Davidic line and eventually raised up the Messiah, Jesus Christ, but the southern kingdom also had real spiritual problems that only the true prophets, and a few good kings, could bring some form of semblance as to the LORD’s proper will and direction.

-Civil war appeared to be imminent as the factions drew battle lines upon the return of Jeroboam from Egypt to head up the northern kingdom according to the prophecy (1 Kings 11:30-35). However, bloodshed was averted due to the word of the LORD, which came to the man of God, Shemaiah (1 Kings 12:23-24). The factioning parties listened to the word of the LORD and returned in peace, but there was now bitterness towards each other and lines of demarcation were drawn.

-Jeroboam went to his homeland of Ephraim in the hill country and built Shechem (the ancient place of quite a few instances with the patriarchs, Genesis 12:6; 33:18-20). He was apparently jealous and suspicious of the Temple worship in Jerusalem and possibly rightly feared a reunification under the Davidic rule at some point. So, he erected high places in Bethel (in the hill country, this was to be in Samaritan territory by the time of Christ and we see here the background to some of the issues people in Jesus’ time faced from history, for example see John 4 with the woman Jesus encountered at the well) and Dan (far to the north in the territory he reigned in). This thing became a sin (1 Kings 12:30) as he made two golden calves (much like Israel did in the wilderness when Moses was on Sinai, Exodus 32:1-8) for the people to worship as the gods who brought them out of Egypt (1 Kings 12:28). He stationed priests at these places that were not of the tribe of Levi, and he instituted his own festivals in the eighth month like the feast in Judah. Jeroboam went to these high places and participated in the pagan-idolatrous worship to burn incense on these alters (1 Kings 25-33).

-*Application* There is always a real deal as opposed to the fake. We see in this chapter several instances of the real verses the fake. First, Rehoboam should have listened to the real wisdom of the elders as opposed to the false ideas of his contemporaries. Second, we see men of God who gave real and accurate prophecies like Ahijah and Shemiah. Although there were no false prophets in this passage to speak of, we know that there were many times in the history of Israel that false prophets arose and gave bad advice. Know the difference between truth and lies. Thirdly, we see the real Temple in Judah, which was the place of promise, as opposed to the replicas in Bethel and Dan that Jeroboam erected to carry people away from the One-True Living God. God is opposed to any idols or false ways of thinking. Stay true to His Word and abide in the real deal!!!


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 12:8, 15-16, 24, 28, 30

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 11

1 Kings 11


-Solomon, and in effect much of Israel, falls into decline by the end of this great king’s reign. We had seen in the previous chapter that he began to multiply horses and became entangled in foreign affairs where he was distracted away from serving the LORD whole heartedly in devotion. Although the LORD had indeed blessed David’s son with opulence, wisdom, and prosperity beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, the spirits of waywardness and apathy began to set in and soon Solomon was appeasing foreign gods that the LORD detested. Solomon’s main problem was in the fact that he multiplied wives, which again was in direct disobedience to God’s limitations on kingly authority among His people (Deuteronomy 17:17, 1 Kings 11:1-3). This lead to idolatry as he increased gold and silver for himself and little by little turned away from the God of his father David (1 Kings 11:4-8). This of course angered the LORD because his heart was turned away from Him (remember our God is a jealous One, Exodus 34:14-16) who has appeared to him twice (1 Kings 11:9). He had disobeyed direct commands and God took swift action for not keeping His covenant and statutes by taking the vast part of the kingdom from his line (1 Kings 11:10-11). Nevertheless, God would be patient and not do this thing during the reign of Solomon for the sake of David and Jerusalem, which He had chosen, but He would act to divide with Solomon’s son, Rehoboam (1 Kings 11:12-13). *Application* The LORD looks to and fro throughout the earth to find a heart that is completely His so that He can strongly support them (2 Chronicles 16:9). The trouble with our hearts is that too often we go after vain and empty idols that turn us from God and His ways, His commands, His statutes, His precepts, and His love. While God is patient and kind, He is also very irritated when we know the right thing to do and yet go our own way. He simply cannot bless this course of action and we end up bearing the consequences of disobedience. Resolve to bless the LORD with your devotion. He will strongly support and favor you as you do! Be like David rather than Solomon.

-As a result of Solomon’s wayward demise, God raised up adversaries to the throne of Israel. Three are mentioned here in the text beginning with Hadad the Edomite who had fled south to Egypt during the conquest of David and the extermination of every male in that land to the east of the Jordan and Dead Sea area (1 Kings 11:14-22). Another antagonist was Rezon the son of Eliada who fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah during another conquest of David (2 Samuel 8:3-4). Rezon fled to Damascus in the north and reigned there with a band of marauders in vehement hatred of Israel as the leader of Aram (1 Kings 11:23-25). Then, there was Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah. He had been Solomon’s servant, but he rebelled against the king because of the Millo, which was built, that closed the breach of the city of his father David. This may indicate some jealousy latent from the powerful tribe of Ephraim towards the God ordained tribe of Judah and its royal authority (for more on Jeroboam see: He goes out of Jerusalem and ends up being prophesied over by the prophet Ahijah as to the coming split in the kingdom and his reign over ten of the tribes of Israel. Much like Samuel’s prophecy towards Saul, Ahijah predicts the coming distress and storm in the kingdom of Israel due to the king’s forsaking of God to worship and sacrifice to idols. Nevertheless, God will stay true to His promises and retain Judah for His servant David’s line as “a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My Name (1 Kings 11:36).” God “will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always (1 Kings 11:39).” This has Messianic implications as Jesus is a direct descendant of this royal line as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 5:5; 17:14; 19:16). Solomon sought to put Jeroboam to death over this prophecy of failure in the kingdom due to his own apostasy, but the future ruler of the ten northern tribes of Israel providentially escaped to Egypt until the death of Solomon. The text references the “Acts of Solomon” as a place to gain further information on the great and wise king of Israel. Unfortunately, we have lost this work to antiquity. Solomon ruled for 40 years over all of Israel, and then slept with his fathers buried in the city of his father David (Jerusalem), and Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, now came to power in his place (1 Kings 11:26-43). *Application* God can give peace and wants to give peace to those who are looking to Him for defense and support. The latter years of Solomon portray a breach in the security that he had once enjoyed (1 Kings 5:4). The enemies were allowed to infiltrate because of his turning away from the ways of the LORD and his direct disobedience. When we willingly and deliberately walk away from what we know is good and right according to the LORD’s directives, we also give the enemy an opportunity in our own lives to come in and disrupt our peace. Our own kingdoms will suffer and be torn apart as a legacy if we are not completely dependent and loyal to the One-true God and live in such a way that pleases Him. Learn complete reliance on the LORD your God and don’t let prosperity take you away from Him and His blessings (Matthew 13:22).


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 11:4, 13, 36, 39

Monday, June 10, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 10

1 Kings 10


-We observe the visit of the Queen of Sheba in this passage of 1 Kings. She had heard about Solomon’s fame concerning the Name of the LORD and came with an inquisitive heart to learn and understand more (1 Kings 10:1). Solomon answered all of her questions, and the LORD revealed all to him as he spoke wisdom to her (1 Kings 10:3). The queen perceived his greatness and observed all the abundance with which the LORD had blessed Israel (1 Kings 10:4-6). The reports she heard gave her great expectation, but when she realized the facts there was only half told to her about the wisdom and riches of this kingdom. She blessed the LORD and Israel His people giving gifts to the king of gold, plentiful spices (which had never been exceeded), precious stones, and almug trees (which were used in the house of the LORD and the king’s house, 1 Kings 10:7-13).

-Gold and many material goods poured into the land from all over the earth during the time of Solomon as the LORD blessed all that was going on. Solomon had an extravagant throne built superior to any other kingdom (1 Kings 10:20), and silver was considered as common as stones in Jerusalem (1 Kings 10:27a). Expensive wood was as plentiful as the common-native kind of wood (1 Kings 10:27b). He gathered chariots and multiplied horses (1 Kings 10:26), which went against what God had commanded (Deuteronomy 17:16). This begins a turning from the ways of God, which would soon lead to a weak finish in his reign as king (1 Kings 11:4).

-*Application* It is true that the hardest thing to deal with in life is prosperity. As much as we want the riches and pleasures of this world, we can see in this instance (and many others if we care to seek it out) that luxury was the beginning of the demise of character, fame, and fortune. The Word says, “But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind, and withers the grass; and its flower falls off, and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away (James 1:9-11).” If the LORD has blessed you with much, it is important to realize that the hope that you have is in the realm of being generous with your wealth, not hording it or wasting it on your own pleasures. God is a giver, and He created us to share. We will be blessed and finish strong if we use what God has blessed us with as good stewards rather than selfish misers in our own personal kingdom.


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 10:23

Saturday, June 8, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 9

1 Kings 9


-God gives Solomon some magnificent promises along with some stern warnings as this portion of the book commences. This happens after Solomon had completed what he really set out in his heart to build, so the major projects were finished (1 Kings 9:1). The LORD appeared to him a second time as He had in Gibeon (1 Kings 9:2), and comforted the king with the fact that He had heard Solomon’s prayers and supplications made before Him (1 Kings 9:3a). The LORD had consecrated the house that had been built with His Name forever, and told him that His eyes and His heart would be there perpetually (without ceasing, 1 Kings 9:3b). God went on to let the king know that as long as he would walk before the LORD his God, as his father David had done, in integrity and uprightness of heart following all of the LORD’s commands, statutes, and ordinances that He would establish his throne of the kingdom over Israel forever according to His promise (1 Kings 9:4-5). However, there is an obvious warning for his sons if they would ever turn away from the LORD their God in disobedience to follow other gods and neglect the LORD’s statutes and commandments. If this happens, God promised He would cut them off from their land (which does eventually happen for a time), and the house which was built would be cast out of His sight. Israel would become a byword among the peoples of the world and the house would become a heap of ruins astonishing and causing derision among all who pass by it as they know that God’s people had forsaken the LORD their God who brought them out of Egypt by adopting other gods and worshipping them and serving them, therefore bringing all this adversity on themselves (1 Kings 9:6-9). Thus the LORD completes His message to the king. *Application* God never does anything without warning. If He is trying to get your attention on a matter, it is best to take heed. He is simply trying to protect you from the adversity you would otherwise face if you neglect His counsel. Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

-The rest of the chapter gives some history concerning the region with other building projects and lands ceded to allies. Hiram, king of Tyre, was not pleased with the twenty cities given him in the Galilee region and called them Cabul (as good as nothing), but this did not seem to affect their friendship and alliance too much as they partnered down south with sea-faring adventures in the Red Sea and beyond (1 Kings 9:10-13, 26-28). The account of Pharaoh’s capture of Gezer killing the Canaanites who lived there and its burning for a dowry payment to Solomon for the Egyptian Princess hand in marriage is mentioned (1 Kings 9:16). As a result Solomon rebuilds Gezer (west of Jerusalem near the coast) and the lower Beth-horon (just to the east of Gezer) and Baalath (just to the west of Gezer) and Tamar in the wilderness (south of the Dead Sea area in the desert wilderness). All of these were in the land of Judah and were storage cities for chariots and horsemen. These areas extended northward up to Lebanon and in all the land under his rule (1 Kings 9:17-19). He used forced labor from the remnants of non-Jewish inhabitants of the land (Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites). The Jewish people were not used for forced labor; they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen (1 Kings 9:20-23). There is one more tidbit of information describing Solomon’s worship practices. Three times a year he would offer burnt offerings and peace offerings before God on the alter he built to the LORD in Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:25). *Application* Administration is a vital key to success in a society. Solomon used his wisdom to coordinate and delegate out functions so that the nation could stay safe and effective as God’s chosen people. If you have administrative talents and gifts, use them for the Lord’s glory in His Church and Kingdom. He’s given you this wisdom for a purpose. Don’t neglect any of your giftings!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 9:7

Friday, June 7, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 8

1 Kings 8


-This incredible chapter of God’s goodness and praise poured out by His people lead by King Solomon dedicates the Temple in Jerusalem in a most profound way. The Ark of the Covenant, that now housed only the two tablets of the Mosaic Law, is brought in and placed in the Holy of holies, under the wings of cherubim (1 Kings 8:1-9). There was great celebration that was contributed in an array of pageantry, which we see in other portions of Scripture, and when the people praised Jehovah God His presence filled the place with His cloud (2 Chronicles 5:12-14, 1 Kings 8:10-11).

-Solomon now addresses the people who had gathered from all over Israel, all the elders, heads of tribes, leaders of the father’s households (1 Kings 8:1). His benediction proclamation begins with the fulfillment of the LORD’s words that “He would dwell in the thick cloud (Leviticus 16:2, 1 Kings 8:12, Psalm 18:11; 97:2).” God was fulfilling His Word to His servant David now (1 Kings 8:20), and it was a time of great rejoicing and worship before the God of Israel. His earthly house had been completed for a sanctuary in honor of Him. There is no other God like Him was the refrain “in heaven above or earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness” to His servants who walk before Him with all their heart (1 Kings 8:23). Solomon makes this decree standing (later kneeling in reverence, 1 Kings 8:54) before the alter of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel with his hands spread out in worship toward Heaven (1 Kings 8:22). Solomon thanked the LORD for His goodness in keeping promises made to his father and ancestors (1 Kings 8:24-26). He acknowledged that it was impossible to contain the God of the Universe in a manmade Temple, for God indwells everything from the highest heaven to the furthest reach (1 Kings 8:27).

-Solomon goes on to give us great theological truth in the realm of prayer. He extols the LORD for having regard to the prayer (definition- an address to Deity for connection) and supplication (definition- a humble and sincere appeal to somebody who has the power to grant a request) of His servant to listen to the cry made before Him (1 Kings 8:27). Solomon goes on to instruct that God’s people, both Jewish and Gentile, should pray towards the LORD’s holy Temple in Jerusalem mindful of the Living and Everlasting God who answers a plethora of prayers for those whose hearts are right before Him in repentance, returning, righteousness, and humility (1 Kings 8:28-52). The message is simple: the inheritance is for God’s people in this great celebration, but the LORD’s kindness extends to all who call upon His great and holy Name (1 Kings 8:53, 60).

-Another great theological truth that is indicated revolves around the keeping of promises made by a perfect God (1 Kings 8:56). While He expects devotion and the keeping of His righteous commandments (which revolve around the concept of love, Matthew 22:36-40), He is faithful and steadfast to what He has said (1 Kings 8:23-26). He is the God that will never leave or forsake, and who gives rest to His people according to His promises (1 Kings 8:56-57).

-The summation of it all is this, “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD your God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day (1 Kings 8:61).” There was great festival in the offerings given in abundance as the house of the LORD was dedicated. In the end, when the celebration was completed, the children of Israel went back to their tents “joyful and glad of heart” for they had experienced the goodness of the Lord’s favor and blessing (1 Kings 8:62-66).

-*Application* The adoration of our Great God and King should strike us exuberantly from the study of this passage. How could we not worship the LORD with all our being knowing that now, through the New Covenant, we can have this same presence IN us through the Holy Spirit of the Living God every moment of every day. His sacrifice on the cross has been made so that we can walk in the faithfulness of His everlasting promises for spiritual victory, blessing, favor, righteousness, and abundance of joy and gladness as we turn to Him by faith. I don’t know about you, but realizing this and what we have in Christ makes me want to shout with loud and enthusiastic praise!!!!


Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 8:6, 11, 20, 23-27, 35-40, 42-43, 46-47, 53, 56-61

Thursday, June 6, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 7

1 Kings 7


-This chapter begins with Solomon’s palace construction details, which took 13 years to complete using timber from the forest of Lebanon (to the north). This house had his judgment hall and there was cedar paneling along with much ornate design in it. Again great and costly foundation stones were quarried and used with his house in Jerusalem (1 Kings 7:1-12). The chapter also describes the house that was made for his Egyptian wife (Pharaoh’s daughter, 1 Kings 7:8).

-The rest of the chapter denotes Hiram (not the king of Tyre, but someone else) who was half-Jewish on his mother’s side and his work on the bronze portions of the Temple utensils. The Bible describes this man as a man of Tyre who was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali and a worker in bronze, who was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing his work (1 Kings 7:14). By his work great pillars were set on the Temple, at the front facing east, the one on the right named Jachin (he shall establish) and the one on the left named Boaz (in it is strength, 1 Kings 7:21). The sea and ten stands of water basins were described in detail along with the pails, shovels, and bowls made of polished bronze. These items were cast in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan in the clay ground. The weight of all these utensils could not even be ascertained because they were too many (1 Kings 7:22-47). Times were abundant. The rest of the chapter relates how Solomon oversaw all the furniture which was in the house of the LORD that was of pure gold. “Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things dedicated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the utensils, and he put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD (1 Kings 7:48-51).”

-*Application* When we are called to do a job, the LORD will provide the necessary items to see it through to its completion. There was abundance in resources when it was the proper time to build and do the work of the Temple for Yahweh. We too, must be observant as to how the LORD will provide in the things He has called us to in our lives. That is not always easy as we cast our total dependence on Him in faith for the necessities of our calling. Often it will involve a time of testing, or “a crisis of faith” as Henry Blackaby has coined it, to see if our hearts our truly committed to the assigned task. We hold to the promises of God during these times and work with great expectation to see how the LORD will bless. If He is in it, it WILL prosper! Don’t give up hope and be wise in listening to the voice of God for His direction. He will provide according to His will!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 7:51

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 6

1 Kings 6


-Chapter six give details about the time of construction of the Temple in Solomon’s reign and the ornate details of the design from an artistic as well as architectural standpoint. Construction began in the forth year of Solomon’s reign, 480 years after the sons of Israel had come out of Egypt. In the month of Ziv, which is the second month in the Jewish calendar, the work began on the house of the LORD (1 Kings 6:1). One interesting fact reported is that all the stones and wood were worked on before they got to the Temple site. “There was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7).” In other words, this was a holy and reverent place requiring care, concern, honor, and respect for the God of this sanctuary. “So Solomon built the house and finished it (1 Kings 6:14).” The project took seven years, but it all came together. The children of Israel now had a permanent place to worship their LORD and His Presence would fill this place (2 Chronicles 5:13-14). The beauty of this Temple was unsurpassed with elegance and workmanship. It was a token of God’s people’s appreciation for everything the LORD meant to them and a fulfillment of what He had decreed. For more see on the first Jerusalem Temple to the LORD, see:

-*Application* The Temple of the LORD is now in us (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). Christ Jesus entered the veil of the Holy of Holies by His sacrifice on the cross so that we could permanently enter His rest by placing our faith and trust in Him alone (Hebrews 6:19-20; 9:11-15). This is the New Covenant that God has provided for the salvation of the whole world. Take this pointing from the Old Testament and realize its significance in accepting the Messiah as your personal Lord and Savior. Also, understand that God is righteous and holy and deserves our exaltation and praise with joy and reverence. Praise Him for all the great, awesome, and beautiful things He has done!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 6:14

Saturday, June 1, 2013

1 Kings Bible Study Notes- Chapter 5

1 Kings 5


-This chapter deals with some of the logistics of building the Temple of the LORD as He had told King David in previous times. Solomon was now established as the rightful king with peace and rest on every side from the wars and troubles during the time of King David. The enemies had been subdued and now it was time to build a House for the God of Israel, the One True and Living God (1 Kings 5:3-5).

-Hiram, the king of Tyre, is very helpful in the construction project of the Temple as we see here in the text. He had always been a friend of David and rejoiced greatly upon hearing the news that the LORD had given a wise son as king over the great people of Israel (1 Kings 5:1, 7). He was more than willing to help negotiate a covenant to provide raw materials in exchange for food for his household with Solomon (1 Kings 5:6, 8-12).

-Solomon organized a forced labor force of nearly 200,000 at least, who rotated up to the north to work the timber, transport, and do the masonry with the stone (1 Kings 5:13-15). There were 3,300 chief deputies over the project and ruling the people doing the work. The rocks near Jerusalem were quarried as “great stones” and “costly stones” to lay the foundation of the Temple area as “cut stones (1 Kings 5:16-17).” For more on the enormous size and construction of the Jerusalem Temple see:

It is incredible what this ancient culture was able to manufacture! “So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites (also called Byblos, these people were located north of what is now Beirut, in the cedar forest, these men were Phoenicians, probably skilled as ship builders and employed for this project) cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house (1 Kings 5:18).”

-*Application* Jesus said, “if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you (Matthew 17:20).” This has spiritual significance obviously to us, but there are sometimes some literal and physical applications. We see here in the text that Solomon had a call, a vision, and a dream that was implemented into action at a certain point in time. Mountains of stone, literally over a million pounds each, and incredible amounts of timber were “moved” for the purpose of having a place where God could reside among His people. While the conditions had to align and all the necessary raw materials secured, God had given His Word and it was to be fulfilled through the son of David. What Word has the LORD given you for your life? Are you being obedient to allow Him to do the impossible to make His call a literal reality? “Ask, and it will be given, seek, and you will find, knock, and the door will be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7).”


Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 5:5